COACH TOUR: Take in the best of central Italy on this 8-day group tour which starts and ends in Rome. Enjoy a walking tour of the capital at sunset, visit medieval Siena, and relax in the Tuscan town of Montepulciano. Marvel at the stunning Renaissance architecture of Florence, enjoy a stroll around Bologna and visit Padua. Discover the highlights of Venice on a walking tour and skip the line at the Vatican City to see St Peter's Basilica and the impressive Sistine Chapel.
Welcome to Italy! On arrival in Rome, there is an included transfer to our start hotel. Our tour begins at 19:45 so if you arrive early you will have time to do some independent sightseeing - perhaps head to the Colosseum?
When better to explore this most romantic of cities than with a sunset walking tour? Our expert local guide takes us to highlights including the Spanish Steps and the Piazza Della Rotonda, home of the Pantheon. Throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain for good luck and taste some authentic Italian gelato. After our tour ends, the rest of the evening is at leisure.
Please note: Pick-up from the hotel is at 19:45 for our evening walking tour of Rome, so please make sure you arrive in Italy in plenty of time on day 1 or before, to avoid missing the tour!
Rome - Assisi - Siena - Florence. It's an early start as we depart Rome at 7:15 and journey to the medieval walled town of Assisi. There's time to visit the picturesque Basilica of St Francis independently if you choose.
Then we continue to Siena, a UNESCO-protected town known for its incredibly narrow streets, medieval brick buildings and fan-shaped main square: Piazza del Campo. After a short visit we continue to our hotel in Florence, where dinner is included.
Overnight: Florence | Breakfast, Dinner
Today we enjoy a half-day sightseeing tour of Florence, 'Cradle of the Renaissance' and home of Michelangelo. Take in the beautiful Duomo, formally known as the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. Other highlights of the city include the town hall - Palazzo Vecchio and the Basilica of Santa Croce, burial place for illustrious Italians including Michelangelo, Galileo, and Machiavelli. We enjoy lunch in a typical Tuscan restaurant in Piazza Santa Croce.
This afternoon you can continue exploring Florence independently. We recommend pre-booking a visit to the Uffizi Gallery or the Academia (home to the original David). Alternatively, you can book an optional excursion to nearby Pisa, home to the iconic Leaning Tower.
Overnight: Florence | Breakfast, Lunch
Bologna, Padua & Venice
Florence - Bologna - Padua - Venice. Departing Florence, we drive to beautiful Bologna, capital of the Emilia-Romagna region. Enjoy a walk through the elegant city centre to see some of the beautiful porticos and shopping streets. Stroll from Piazza Malpighi to Piazza del Nettuno and Piazza Maggiore in the heart of the city, and see the Basilica of San Petronio. There's free time to find a good restaurant for lunch.
In the afternoon we pay a short visit to Padua, a riverside city west of Venice. We'll see the Basilica of Saint Anthony, which is one of the most visited churches by pilgrims in the Catholic world. Then it's on to Venice, where we check into our hotel for the next two nights.
Overnight: Venice | Breakfast
After breakfast it's time to explore perhaps Italy's most famous and romantic destination. The floating city is a photographer's dream, and we'll be taking in the main highlights. Our tour begins in Piazza San Marco, in English known as St Mark's Square. It's the focal point of the city, dominated by St Mark's Basilica. We also see the Gothic Doge's Palace and the legendary Bridge of Sighs.
After our tour, we enjoy a glass of prosecco and some traditional cicchetti (Italian tapas) in our beautiful setting and there is free time for you to explore further - we strongly recommend a gondola ride on Venice's famous canals!
Overnight: Venice | Breakfast, Lunch
Tuscany's wine region
Venice - Tuscany wine region - Rome. Leaving Venice, we head into Tuscany, one of Italy's most idyllic regions. A land known for its beautiful scenery, historic castles, and some of Italy's finest wines. We enjoy a stop in the medieval town of Montepulciano for lunch, where you can try a glass or two of the region's vino. Then we enjoy a short amount of free time to explore the town further, before returning to Rome for the evening.
Overnight: Rome | Breakfast, Lunch
Today we explore Vatican City, home to the Pope and technically an independent country - another one you can tick off your list!
Departing the hotel after breakfast, we'll enjoy a guided tour of the Vatican's museums and galleries with 'skip the line' tickets. Take in the Gallery of Tapestries, the beautifully decorated frescoes of Raphael's Rooms, and of course, the Sistine Chapel. We can also admire the stunning St Peter's Basilica from the outside. This iconic landmark dominates the Vatican and is one of the largest Christian churches in the world, as well as being the pinnacle of Renaissance architecture. It is allegedly where Saint Peter was buried and titans of Italian design including Donato Bramante and Michelangelo had a hand in its creation. The rest of today is at leisure in Rome.
Overnight: Rome | Breakfast
Enjoy a final breakfast in the hotel before our tour arrangements come to an end. There is an included departure transfer to the airport.
Prices & Dates
Departure dates are guaranteed with a minimum of 2 persons. 'Twin Share' prices are per person when there are 2 people sharing a room. 'Single Room' prices are applicable to those who don’t have anyone to share a room with or anyone wanting the privacy of a single room.
The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard.
Hotel St Martin, Rome
With a great central location by the Piazza della Repubblica and opposite the metro, the Hotel St Martin is a perfect base for those exploring the Italian capital. Rooms in this modern 4-star hotel are bright and spacious, with ensuite bathrooms, air-conditioning, satellite TV and a kettle. There is complimentary high speed Wi-Fi connection throughout the property. A continental buffet breakfast is served daily and there is also a bar. For those not wishing to head into the city to eat, fresh Mediterranean food is also served at the onsite Restaurant Sidera.
Raffaello Hotel, Florence
The recently renovated Raffaello Hotel is located in an atmospheric residential area, just a 10-minute tram ride from the city centre. When in the hotel guests can relax in the Raffaello Garden with a drink, or tuck into delectable Tuscan cuisine at Restaurant La Fornarina. A buffet breakfast is included and served daily and there is free Wi-Fi throughout. Rooms come with Sky television, minibar, safe and ensuite bathrooms and are tastefully decorated, as they should be in the city of the Renaissance!
Hotel Delfino Venezia Mestre, Venice
Hotel Delfino Venezia Mestre is located in the lively Corso del Popolo in the heart of Mestre, the mainland section of Venice. The hotel is just 10 minutes by bus from Venice itself, with a stop across the road - reception can arrange bus tickets for guests if needed. Rooms at this 4-star hotel are well appointed and spacious, equipped with ensuite bathrooms, air-conditioning, free Wi-Fi and television. Buffet breakfast is served onsite and there is a bar and lounge area where guests can enjoy cocktails and apertifs.